Acton Institute Powerblog

PowerLinks 05.17.13

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Man the Political Animal: On the Intrinsic Goodness of Political Community
Michael W. Hannon , Public Discourse

Our arguments for limited government should recognize political community as an intrinsic good, not mistake it for a merely instrumental one.

What is Social Justice?
J.J. Ziegler, Catholic World Report

The teachings of Vatican II, Paul VI, John Paul II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Report: IRS denied tax-exempt status to pro-lifers on behalf of Planned Parenthood
Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner

IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status to two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.

Four Ways Christians Live and Work In the Marketplace
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The original theories of Adam Smith, which have often been misinterpreted, were based on the firm belief that business would work for the greater good of society. As a professor of ethics, Smith believed markets, by their origin, were about morality and doing the right thing.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • RogerMcKinney

    The two articles on social justice are more frustrating than enlightening. It’s long on usage of the term but very short on definition. “…not defined with crystalline precision…” is a vast understatement! The statements on social justice are so vague that I can understand why both free marketeers and socialists find support in them.

    Based on the demand for “fair” wages that “…guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family…”, the support of unions, and an emphasis on the unequal distribution of wealth, I would say the Church supports market socialism practiced in the US and Europe since the 1930’s as the definition of social justice.

  • RogerMcKinney

    Hannan confuses community, government and the state. They overlap, but are distinct. Government is the rule of natural law. Ancient Israel had God’s laws (natural law) without a state. The state is an institution for the control of the masses by a few. States often claim to be implementing government, but they always go far beyond the requirements of good government. Political community is nothing but people getting together to solve problems. No free marketeer leader has ever opposed political community or government. The opposition is always against the state which always and everywhere overflows it banks and destroys with its flood the good land outside its domain.